SPG "Earned Awards" problamatic.

Discussion in 'Starwood | Preferred Guest' started by ValF, Apr 23, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. ValF

    ValF Silver Member

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    My recent experience trying to book a free night off of an Earned Award has soured me on earning and using this type of benefit. Last fall I participated in the SPG Bonus Beginnings promo where you could earn a free night by a paid stay within a certain time period. I earned this night and I was told last Dec. that it was available to use. However, last week when I tried to book a room this summer with my award it had disappeared from my account. Several phone calls later it appeared in my account again, but when I made the booking the agent booked the wrong date on the reservation. I immediately called back to fix the reservation, but it took cancelling, reinstating the award, rebooking (40 minutes that one call). All in all it took 7 phone calls totaling 1 hr. 50 min. to get the free night. Lesson learned for me is that points are much easier to use than Earned Awards - point stays can be booked online and they can easily be modified/cancelled.
    On a positive note, all the agents I talked with were sincerely trying to be helpful.
    These type of awards are apparently difficult to navigate in their system. Since a free night will probably mean being put in the least desirable room at my hotel, it makes it the more painful to have spent so much effort.
     
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  2. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Consider the alternative that you were just unlucky. When I've redeemed earned awards in the past it has just been a quick 5 or 10 minute phone call. Regarding the room choice, you'll likely get a room in accordance with how the hotel would treat you on most bookings. If you're a valuable customer you'll get a better room. A free booking is likely preferred over many opaque bookings from their perspective.

    You got a free night and dealt with friendly, helpful people. I'd honestly focus more on that.

    A lot of changes are really cancel + rebook, just with a different interface anyway.
     
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  3. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    When I used my certificate, it took a couple of minutes on the phone. I stayed at the Swan (Orlando) and the gave me a very nice room - definitely not the least desirable night in the hotel.

    I will also have to report on my BIL's certificate. He completed his stay in Jan. The hotel charged him 3 times for the one stay. In fixing the overcharge, they deleted the stay from the system and the certificate was gone. We now have the stay re-credited and SPG said to give it 10 days to see if the certificate will automatically credit.
     
  4. ValF

    ValF Silver Member

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    matsteg - I agree, that most changes are usually a cancel and rebook, but the certificates add the extra step of having to re-issue the certificate to get the booking. This seems to be the hard part. Also, it seems the computer system the agents use doesn't show these awards without some major looking on their part. I always had to convince each agent that I really did have an award- even though my web account showed it as in there, the agents always had trouble finding it. Thanks for the advice to focus on my upcoming stay. It will be my first time in Vienna and should be a great time.

    KathinJax - Hope you BIL get his cert. straightened out without fuss.
     
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  5. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    So I am rather impressed. The certificate showed up in his account today!
     

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